Paul Dixon: No surprises as Newcastle United's summer transfer trawl begins

The same old transfer window scenario is unfolding at St James' Park as the summer trawl begins

Dave Thompson/Getty Images A Newcastle United fan arrives at the ground
A Newcastle United fan arrives at the ground

For the most part, football’s brilliant isn’t it?

The way the World Cup dominates the television and saves the nation from wall-to-wall soaps, ‘reality’ and cookery programmes, if only for a month.

Even footballers’ absurdities have a ‘shake your head in disbelief’ charm about them.

Different coloured boots, hair styles like Star Trek aliens and a dress sense even French barmpot designer Jean Paul Gaultier would sneer at.

Football, though, is prepared to be innovative, like Spain winning competitions without recognised strikers.

It also sets trends, and the latest being our former supremo Big Sam having to sign an entertainment agreement, akin to Phil Jupitus having to sign a ‘be funny’ agreement.

This may catch on, Pardew could sign a ‘Try and score a second when we take the lead’ or ‘start to win games, after going behind’ clause.

The club could start issuing the minutes from the Fans’ Forum, to the musical accompaniment from the Benny Hill show.

The most far-reaching innovation is actually in the hands of Celtic for next season, after the departure of Neil Lennon. They could just save a manager’s salary and let the captain pick the team, and still win their league by February.

I digress here, because obviously our plan to recruit early hasn’t been a roaring success thus far.

As ever with us, the players linked seem impressive, although signing Nicklas Bendtner is hardly going to bring a need for crash barriers at the ticket office.

Worringly, the same transfer window scenario is unfolding again, and it goes in four stages:

1. State publicly where we need strengthening and that there is money available;

2. Submit an absurdly low bid and increase by £1 per day;

3. State we won’t pay over the odds, and it’s an increasingly difficult market this time around; and

4. Proclaim Shola is having a renaissance and our squad is leaner.

You can’t help being cynical with this regime can you? Maybe all this talk of not paying over the odds, not giving a monkey’s about domestic Cups and dreading Europe is a Baldrick-like cunning plan.

Don’t be surprised to see Rafa Benitez sittting holding a press conference at SJP to introduce himself, because I wouldn’t, I would be absolutely bloomin’ gobsmacked and imagine I’d woken up in a Fifa manager game.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer